ESG: Human Rights– Affected Communities
Our global coverage includes mandatory laws, regulations and standards, proposed, enacted & amended, as well as voluntary frameworks, guidance documents, and factsheets which cover obligations placed on companies regarding their actual or proposed responses to the human rights risks of affected communities. Note: we do not cover voluntary national standards.
Human Rights – Affected Communities
Affected communities consist of people outside the company’s workforce and/or supply chain that may be affected by the company’s operations and include people:
- living or working near the company’s factories and facilities or other remote communities actually or potentially affected by those activities (e.g., a toxic waste spill affecting a community’s access to clean drinking water or a peaceful protest by communities against business operations that was met with a violent response from the companies security services);
- along the company’s value chain (e.g., communities affected by the operations and activities of suppliers’ facilities, logistics or distribution providers);
- located at either or both endpoints of the value chain (e.g., communities located adjacent mines or near waste or recycling sites);
- indigenous peoples (e.g. ensuring proper consultation is undertaken with local communities and that prior informed consent is obtained before building on their land).
Legislation covering affected communities typically require companies to disclose their:
- Policies on how they manage material impacts, risks and opportunities associated with the human rights of affected communities;
- Processes for engaging with affected communities about impacts and remediating negative impacts including the establishment of grievance/complaints procedures, hotlines, and/or other measures that allow affected communities to raise concerns or explain needs that they would like the company to address.
- Action taken to manage and mitigate the risks e.g. training for relevant staff on indigenous people’s rights, including free, prior and informed consent.
- Targets related to managing material negative impacts and advancing positive impacts.
This content area covers obligations placed on companies to disclose information on the approach that they take to identify and manage impacts on affected communities relating to:
- Economic, social, and cultural rights e.g. adequate housing and food, water and sanitation, land and security.
- Civil and political rights e.g. freedom of expression and assembly, and impacts on human rights defenders.
- Rights of indigenous peoples e.g. free, prior, and informed consent, self-determination, and cultural rights.
- Affected communities do NOT include employees or contractors of the company or any workers in the company’s supply chain. The rights and obligations of these people are covered by our Human Trafficking & Slavery and Labor and Employment content areas.
- Please note this Topic is not product-specific. It focuses on requirements for companies to disclose their strategies (planned and taken actions) in managing and engaging with affected communities based on human rights principles and to provide remedies to individuals or groups who may suffer harm as a result of the company’s actions and/or inactions.
Learn more about our Regulatory Coverage
Speak to one of our team today for more information on our regulatory content.